Americans love a good conspiracy theory, and plenty have been bandied about this election season. But what about conspiracy theories that turned out to be, well, not theoretical at all?
Edward Snowden, the NSA contractor responsible for the leak of thousands of classified documents to journalists in the US and Europe, continues to be a lightning rod for controversy, with some Americans calling him a hero and others demanding he be tried for treason or worse. Whatever one’s opinion on Snowden himself, the facts are clear: his leak revealed a massive conspiracy by the NSA to eavesdrop on millions of Americans with no connection to national security or terrorism whatsoever. Though the NSA had previously assured the public that no ordinary American would be spied on through the agency’s collection of “meta-data” related to terrorism, Snowden’s leaked documents confirmed the enormous reach of the NSA’s surveillance. For instance, when an American spoke any number of earmarked keywords in a telephone conversation, the NSA would then listen into that person’s conversations – and those of their entire network of contacts. It added up to the NSA having virtually unfettered access to every phone conversation in the country. Some argue the program served its means of safeguarding the US against terrorist plots, but regardless of one’s political views, Snowden’s revelation caught the NSA red-handed in a huge cover-up.
Tom Cruise is back as Jack Reacher in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, taking on a conspiracy of epic proportions in a fight for the truth. Don’t miss the action in theaters and IMAX, opening October 21.
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